As You Get Older, You Get More Set in Your Ways

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As You Get Older, You Get More Set in Your Ways
Are all old people are the same?

Aging is often viewed as a personality homogenizer, as though at some point people lose their individuality and fall into a single category: the elderly. Yet when we look at our own lives, we see many differences -- large and small -- between ourselves and our peers. These individual traits don't disappear when people turn 65 (or 75, or 85).

Evidence from a number of fronts has shown that older adults are more open to change than the popular image might lead you to believe. For example, the number of people ages 65 and older who use Twitter nearly doubled from 2009 to 2010 [source: Madden]. And more unmarried older couples are choosing cohabitation over marriage compared to previous generations, and even compared to today's younger couples.

On a deeper level, older people tend to have high levels of mental resilience, which is the ability to accept and rebound from adversity [source: Berk]. Being resilient often means giving up self-defeating habits and attitudes, whether it's smoking or self-pity, and adopting new ones. Also, the happiest older adults say that their perspective changed as they realized that their lives were coming to a close; the concerns of their younger days faded and they began focusing on the satisfaction of living in the moment [source: Graham].

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